A Conceptualization of Beauty in the Twentieth Century

Beauty is often defined as a subjective quality of certain objects, which makes these objects appealing to perceive. Such objects may include beautiful sunsets, outdoor objects, humans and other works of art. Beauty, along with other aesthetic concepts, is also the most important topic of aesthetics, among the most important branches of art history. It is also associated with aesthetic theories like proportion, proportionality, formalism and symmetries.


In the twentieth century, however, the beauty has become associated more with the effect of beauty on the person who beholds it, rather than its objective or abstract nature. Theodor Adorno and Max Weber both contributed to the concept of beauty as an internal, subjective state. According to these two philosophers, beauty lies primarily in the ability of a thing to affect the subjectivity of that object through its design, or the way it matches the aesthetic object.

In the twentieth century, however, the concept of beauty has also been linked to the progress of industrialization, which greatly affected the lives of millions of people all over the world. As new and more advanced machines are developed, they make the previous ones obsolete. Adolph Ritter von Schiller, theodor Adachi, Franz Kafka and others have explored the idea of beauty throughout the twentieth century. In the late twentieth century, however, the concept of beauty became closely linked to the work of writers, like Vonnegre, de Saussure, Cavaignac, Marlowe, Boucher, Giordano and others. Their works greatly influenced the aesthetics of the twentieth century. Today, the term ‘personality style’ is often used to refer to this development.